The Metropolitan Opera 2011-2012 Season

New Productions!

Anna Bolena

Gaetano Donizetti

September 26, 30

October 3, 6, 10, 15th (mat), 18, 21, 24, 28,

February 1, 4 (mat), 2012

Starring:

Anna Netrebko

Ekaterina Gubanova

Ildar Abdrazakov

Production by David McVicar

Conductor: Marco Armiliato

(more…)

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Tonight on Sirius/XM: Catch Anna Netrebko as Norina in Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale”

Netrebko as Norina

 

November 10, 2010 at 8pm.

CAST

ConductorJames Levine
NorinaAnna Netrebko
ErnestoMatthew Polenzani
MalatestaMariusz Kwiecien
Don PasqualeJohn Del Carlo

 

THE PRODUCTION TEAM

Production: Otto Schenk
Set & Costume Designer: Rolf Langenfass
Lighting Designer: Duane Schuler

Netrebko’s “expressive liberties” make good for Signor Giacomo.

Already considered one of the more beautiful voices of today, not to mention her physical loveliness, Anna Netrebko opens her run as Mimi in Puccini’s “La Boheme” to rave reviews.  It is always exciting when critics rally in support of something well done, especially in a time when high criticism is often at the behest of the performer and production.  Let’s hope that the positive reviews and influx of audience numbers convince Mr. Gelb that we don’t need to get rid of every “traditional” production just because we want to be “cool” and “modern.”  Sometimes it’s the good ol’ stuff that tastes the best, isn’t it?

Here are today’s reviews on “Boheme” and BRAVA NETREBKO for very fine attempts at remaining authentic to this grand composer’s aesthetic style.

The Gang’s All Here: Mimi, Rodolfo, and Zeffirelli.” By Anthony Tommasini (New York Times)

Of this review, the interesting point was this: “But as usual her singing was not flawless. Her approach exposed every slight deviation of pitch. Also true to form, she took great expressive liberties with her singing — sometimes prolonging, sometimes rushing phrases — liberties that the conductor Marco Armiliato was too willing to accommodate.”  (Tommasini).  I ask, what singer out there right now is flawless?  If we expect singers to be flawless, then we expect them to be more than human.  The human voice is never without a slight blemish or imperfection, and it is interesting that one mars the review of what is a potentially great performance, by the expectation of flawlessness.

In addition, Mr. Tommasini pays attention to Netrebko’s “expressive liberties” when what he describes is exactly the aesthetic required of Puccinian cantilena (a word coined by the historical authority on Puccini, Mosco Carner).  The problem is that no one really remembers (or knows) that there is such a thing as Puccinian cantilena, and so when Ms. Netrebko is actually effecting an authentic and accurate aesthetic performance, it is simply referred to as “expressive liberties.”  I might add that if Maestro Armiliato didn’t follow Ms. Netrebko’s “expressive liberties”, then he shouldn’t be conducting Puccini at all.

“Great Artistry at the Met” by James Jordon (New York Post)

Zeffirelli’s indispensable “Boheme” returns to the Met

Il Maestro

After the outright scandalous “new” production of Tosca that opened the 2009/2010 season at the Metropolitan Opera with booing and catcalls, audiences are thankful that Mr. Gelb didn’t also dispense with Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Puccini’s well-loved masterpiece, “La Boheme.”  Imbued with grandeur, scenic realism, and a broad colour palate; not to mention, a significant spacial quality, Mr. Zeffirelli’s productions have been staples at the Met and are strongly linked to Puccini’s operas on an international level.

The cast has soprano, Anna Netrebko in her second stint as Mimi at the Met, the polish tenor, Piotr Beczala, Canadian baritone Gerald Finley as Marcello, and Nicole Cabell as Musetta.  There will be nine performances into March.

A recent review:  Netrebko, Beczala a Winning Couple in  ‘La Boheme’ (The Associated Press)

Franco Zeffirelli’s magnificent production of “La Boheme”

This week at the Met and on Sirius/XM Radio

Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 at 8pm (Sirius/XM)

“La Fille du Regiment”

ConductorMarco Armiliato

MarieDiana Damrau
Marquise of BerkenfeldMeredith Arwady
Duchess of KrakenthorpKiri Te Kanawa
TonioJuan Diego Flórez
SulpiceMaurizio MuraroWednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 8pm

Production: Laurent Pelly
Set Designer: Chantal Thomas
Costume Designer: Laurent Pelly
Lighting Designer: Joël Adam
Choreographer: Laura Scozzi
Associate Director/Dialogue: Agathe Mélinand

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010 at 8pm:

“La Boheme”

Anna Netrebko in a previous production, as Mimi

ConductorMarco Armiliato
MimìAnna Netrebko
MusettaNicole Cabell
RodolfoPiotr Beczala
MarcelloGerald Finley
SchaunardMassimo Cavalletti
CollineOren Gradus
Benoit/AlcindoroPaul Plishka

Production: Franco Zeffirelli
Set Designer: Franco Zeffirelli
Costume Designer: Peter J. Hall
Lighting Designer: Gil Wechsler

Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010 at 1pm:  Toll Brothers and Sirius/XM Radio

“La Boheme”

The magnificent and unparalleled, Puccini

ConductorMarco Armiliato

MimìAnna Netrebko
MusettaNicole Cabell
RodolfoPiotr Beczala
MarcelloGerald Finley
SchaunardMassimo Cavalletti
CollineOren Gradus
Benoit/AlcindoroPaul Plishka

Production: Franco Zeffirelli
Set Designer: Franco Zeffirelli
Costume Designer: Peter J. Hall
Lighting Designer: Gil Wechsler

“Les Contes D’Hoffmann”: hear the season premiere, tonight at 8pm on Sirius/XM Radio

The lovely, Anna Netrebko, as Antonia

ConductorJames Levine
Olympia: Kathleen Kim
Antonia/StellaAnna Netrebko
GiuliettaEkaterina Gubanova
NicklausseKate Lindsey
HoffmannJoseph Calleja
Four VillainsAlan Held

THE PRODUCTION TEAM

Production: Bartlett Sher
Set Designer: Michael Yeargan
Costume Designer: Catherine Zuber
Lighting Designer: James F. Ingalls
Choreographer: Dou Dou Huang

A composite of one of the sets.